Sacramento's First Coffee Week Has a One of a Kind Beer Event


Sacramento seems to have a dedicated week for just about anything. There’s a week for cocktails, a week for beer, a week for bikes, a week for bacon, and now...a week for coffee. For the first time ever, Sacramento is hosting a week of celebrating speciality coffee - aptly named Speciality Coffee Week, Sacramento - from October 13 - 19.

In celebration of this week, lovers of craft beer and craft coffee are getting together and creating their own coffee beers for the Cafe Au Ale Competition and Party at Old Soul Coffee in Oak Park on Oct 17 from 6-10 pm. The competition is for homebrewers only, and will be judged by certified judges and people in both the speciality coffee and craft beer industries in Sacramento.

Lovers of craft beer and craft coffee are getting together and creating their own coffee beers for the Cafe´ Au Ale Competition and Party

Mike Ungerbuhler, 33, from Curtis Park, brewed a Robust Porter that has a little of Old Soul’s Whiskey Dreams added to it. Mike describes this beer as an “opaque, near black and has burgundy edges.  The first aroma to hit the nose is dark roasted coffee, this is followed by dried dark fruits and dark chocolate.   It is not fully carbonated yet, so the mouthfeel is still a bit of a mystery.  I am hoping that it will be a creamy medium-full bodied beer with moderate carbonation and a subtle warming from the 7.11% ABV.”

Mike Ungerbuhler  brewing it up

Mike Ungerbuhler brewing it up

This will be the third competition for Mike - he entered blonde ale he named Bucktooth Beauty in the Go for the Glory brewing competition with New Glory and it placed second in the Light Hybrid Category, and he is currently awaiting the results of a Belgian Golden Strong named “Archfiend” that he entered in the Celebrewtion.

“What I am really looking for in a competition is a solid score sheet from a judge that gives an honest judgement of the beer and possibly some tips to refine the beer.”


Only brewing since Learn to Homebrew Day in 2012, Mike says he was pushed to enter this competition by his equal love for coffee and beer. “The beer that kick started my beer geekery was Red Hook's Double Black Stout, it is a Stout brewed with coffee.  When I first had it back in the '90's, it was brewed with Starbucks.  I loved that beer.  It was rich, chocolatey and delicious.”

Competition participants and guests will get to experience another treat on Oct 17 - caramels made with Ruhstaller's The Sauce and topped maldon salt and coffee dust from Deb Ray, of Sacramento, who runs Rebel Confectionary and Jams! She is not entering the caramels in the competition, but instead offering them as part of her collaboration with Beers in Sac.

Deb has been making jams since the early 90s and has made caramels since the mid 00s and has entered several of the CA State Fair's annual California's Kitchen events and was awarded Best of Division/Best of class for her bacon caramels, a few Best of Class awards for her jelly and pickled fruit and many first place awards.


“My recipes are constantly evolving and mostly intuitive.  Some recipes develop out of a specific need or request, some on a whim, inspired by things I like, things I drink and/or eat.”

Deb says that this caramel is a “delicious one-of-a-kind caramel that you won't find anywhere else.”

Registration is open through Oct 10 and homebrewers can visit Cafe Au Ale to register. All entries must be dropped off by Oct 10 and the judging will take place at two locations - Brew Ferment Distill on Oct 12 at 10 am and Old Soul at Forty Acres on Oct 17 at 5 pm. The party will start at Old Soul at 6 pm.

Beers In Sac and Old Soul Co. At The 40 Acres will be hosting the after party, featuring Coffee Beers from Ruhstaller Beer, Oak Park Brewing Co., and Device Brewing Co. Flights of brews will be offered, along with food pairings from the kitchen, and commemorative Beers In Sac pint glasses will be available for purchase with a beer.

This event is sponsored by the Oak Park Business Association, and is open to the general public. So come on out and support the home-brew community and our commercial brewers in Sacramento's first ever exclusive Coffee Beer event for Sacramento Coffee Week.

Thanks to Amanda Branahm for writing this article. Check out here website From House Parties to Housewife and make sure to follow her on Twitter @mamascrafty.